first_imgA BAKERY company has been accused of a catalogue of abuse towards a former Polish employee, placed through a recruitment agency.The incident is the first time the agency, which specialises in placing Polish staff, has had one of its staff abused, said partner Anna Ellis. She placed a fully qualified and experienced Polish baker and confectioner with the firm between October and December this year.During that time, its owner is alleged to have forced the recruit to take hot bread out of the oven using his bare hands, work 11 to 14-hour shifts, without eating or going to the toilet, and paid him below the minimum wage. He also allegedly charged him an exorbitant rent on a room, eventually reduced slightly after representations by Employment Choice, according to the agency.The Polish baker, who did not wish to be identified, told British Baker: “I was often very hungry in the bakery. I worked for two months and got £600. I have nightmares about this.”Employment Choice, which helped the baker return to Poland, now plans to report the matter to the police. It has photographs of the baker’s hands, which were burned in taking bread out of the oven. He was not allowed to use gloves, as he was told these would contaminate the hot bread.The agency also has copies of abusive text messages, sent from the owner’s mobile phone, as well as mobile phone videos of verbal abuse taking place, said Ms Ellis. One text message sent to the baker in Poland and forwarded to British Baker, contains foul language. It concludes: “Your country stinks as do your feet. We hope you rot in hell. I will get you one day.”Ms Ellis said: “The baker flew home to Poland because he could not bear it any longer and he lost a week’s pay. We will take the matter to the police and report the incidents when he returns to the UK to start another job in January.”The Polish employee was never registered for National Insurance payments or with the Home Office – both legal obligations of employers, which Employment Choice had spelled out to the owner, Ms Ellis said.“It is disgusting,” she added. “This has never happened to us with an employer before. All our candidate got was a handwritten slip with his wages. He was only paid for eight-hour shifts and was told he would only be paid when he had finished the job. It worked out he was being paid £3 an hour. We calculate the employer made between £500 and £600 by underpaying him.”The baker felt obliged to stay with his employer as he had taken out a mortgage on his house in Poland and a loan to come over to the UK, she said.last_img read more

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April 21, 2021

Trend watch

first_imgTrend-spotters from the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) have predicted 10 key trends that will shape the fast-moving consumer goods industry in the New Year.1. Amazonia: use of ingredients from the Amazon, such as açaí berries and red grapes.2. Ethical products: Fairtrade and sustainable ingredients, which help to highlight local products.3. Refillable and biodegradable packaging.4. Natural products.5. Simplicity in products and marketing messages.6. Technology: advanced packaging and consumer tracking procedures.7. The internet as a marketing medium. More companies are expected to join the ’blogging’ revolution.8. Teens and seniors: the two consumer groups that will continue to matter for companies.9. Key opportunities for companies to convert teen users into adult loyalists lie with a new focus on products ’growing up’ with teens.10. Breakfast will continue to see new innovation and development.”We’re talking about trends, not fads here, so we predict that all of these developments will be around for some time to come. Of course, certain innovations will have a much greater impact on some regions than others.”Amazonia has greatest impact right now in North America, but will spread to Europe, while sustainability has been stronger in Europe, but is beginning to grow in the US,” said David Jago, director of GNPD Custom Solutions at the research company.last_img read more

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first_imgWater, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. That was, of course, the state of Gloucester earlier this summer. While not wishing to bore you with our problems, I will briefly tell you how we dealt with it.When using the term “we” I mean it as the Royal “we”; my managing director Neville did 100% of the work and planning, while I contributed 1% of the ideas. So you see what a great team we are.to the rescueAt our very lowest point, Thomas Adam, of Northampton-based Oliver Adams, phoned and asked Neville how he could help – and supply us if necessary. This he did, plus he gave us water for each night. We bought hot water boilers for every shop and had containers of water for flushing the toilets.We put notices in every shop window, saying that one of the leading craft bakeries in the country, Oliver Adams, was producing goods for us. We only hope that our customers did not prefer these products to ours, or it might tempt Thomas to expand in our region. We are extremely grateful to you, Thomas, for your support.Our deep freezers were fully stocked with our savoury products, so bake-off still did quite well. We also went to great lengths to mitigate our losses, so we are hoping our insurers will deal fairly – and promptly – with us.But enough of our problems. Let’s chat about another subject:the continuance of family businesses. Two families that really impress me are Greenhalgh’s and Waterfields, both based in the north west. It is absolutely amazing how the two main protagonists for each company, Allan Smart and Albert Waterfield, could be so lucky as to have produced such talented hard-working sons – in David Smart and John and Richard Waterfield.Normally, when you get very talented parents, the children are either not quite so clever business-wise or they tend to be spoilt.After all, if the father happens to be a great cricketer or footballer, we do not expect the sons to play for England. Yet we often expect the sons of talented fathers to do as well in business and, usually, they cannot – and in my view should not – be expected to do so.common groundSo what have these two fine companies got in common? They produce top-quality products and appear to be run well.Also, the managers are both “honourable” men. Somehow, the attributes of their fathers have been inherited. While I know John Waterfield, I do hope to meet David Smart and rectify that gap in my education, but both are men who will always find time to help and answer any queries we lesser mortals may have. Of course, these are not the only fine people we have, but space is limited.Anyone reading this may well ask, “But why are you going on about these folks so much?” The reason is simple. Often, we are negative about so many things. Why, just once in a while, can we not celebrate the good things in our industry and be grateful for them? nlast_img read more

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first_imgHow does one retire gracefully? This is a problem that all of us have either met or, I sincerely hope, will meet. Remember, you young ones, the time will come when you will be old. So please give those of us approaching old age plenty of respect.We always say we are getting older, never that we are old, as the latter is a rather depressing thought. However, when we hand over, there are certain things we should remember; one very important thing is, do not go into your building too often nor stay very long. The reason I say this is that, when you enter your old building, everyone will stop and talk to you and, personally, I am not in favour of paying people to talk to me, as I am paying their wages. Plus, you are really in the way, as you no longer know the day-to-day routine and you are wasting their valuable working time.We have to face the fact that, while we older ones may have a great deal of experience, we have had our working time. The young have to make their own mistakes and rejoice in their own successes.Recently I had a sharp jolt, as our MD Neville showed me some photos of one of our shops, which I opened only some eight or nine years ago. He also did some mock-ups of his ideas for fascia boards, logos and printing and, I must confess, it made the originals look terrible. Never had I realised how quickly things get out of date. We are now having to look at a total rebranding, which will cost a lot of money.Like many of you, I thought there would come a time when I would stop having to spend every penny I made on improvements to the company, but every time I speak to Neville, he has found a new way to spend money and improve on what I had left behind. The hurtful thing is that he is right and we have to keep spending to survive and, hopefully one day, prosper.Back to business, I would suggest many of us could and should look at our shops to see how dated they have become. The hard fact is the young, who have money to spend, will not spend it in shops that are not ’with it’ in modern terms.I find it hard to spend money on ideas, rather than material things that I can see, such as equipment for the bakery or shop fittings. We have to accept that, in the majority of bakery companies, we can produce more than we can sell, so marketing is something we not only have to pay lip service to, but actually part with money for.Should you have any doubts, look at the pub chains; they are always changing and the national chains are constantly trying out new concepts. I think they know more than me, otherwise why are they big while I am small?last_img read more

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April 21, 2021

Boots’ print

first_imgBoots is reducing its carbon count with a range of sandwiches using mainly regional produce and Yorkshire-grown wheat. This is the result of a partnership between Boots, sandwich maker Buckingham Foods and Fosters Bakery.Last year, Fosters invited farmers to grow a plot of breadmaking wheat and offered £1,800 for the best result. The bakery has made a long-term commitment to buy local wheat.Miller ADM duly produced a breadmaking-quality flour from wheat grown by a Yorkshire farmer. This was milled at ADM Knottingley and baked at the bakery in Barnsley.last_img

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April 21, 2021

Dublin up

first_imgRoly’s Bistro is a modern rarity: a restaurant that bakes its own bread and confectionery, rather than relying on mixes or pre-baked products. Now it has done something even more rare: it has set up a bakery shop and café to sell the products that were previously the reserve of the restaurant. It is even thinking of franchising the concept – or at least extending it to other outlets.The bakery and café has been set up in an area on the ground floor of Roly’s, which opened in 1992 in a prime main road position in Ballsbridge, south Dublin. Even though it has been open for less than 20 years, it is firmly established as one of the city’s top lunch and dinner spots, with a 20,000-copies-selling recipe book under its belt and a second edition planned.A decade ago, Roly’s, owned by John and Angela O’ Sullivan and a consortium of shareholders, including chef de cuisine Paul Cartwright, opened the bakery that is now moving out from the shadows into the front-of-house.Cartwright admits the off-putting overheads of the new bakery shop and café operation were considerable, not least the wages of the 14 people required to keep the whole show going – a reason why most restaurants opt for the easy option and buy in bread. Head baker, David Walsh, who joined a growing band of chefs converting to bakers, having undergone an advanced pastry course at Tallaght Institute of Technology in Dublin, insist the costs pay off through developing a local reputation as a restaurant with quality bakery products.Roly’s has already had long experience of supplying bakery products to other trade customers, including some local hotels and, at one stage, Aer Lingus. But since part of the restaurant was converted into a bakery shop and café with 70 covers, two-thirds of bread production could ultimately be sold through the shop.The bakery shop itself opens early, seven days a week, while the adjacent café is open six days a week. So far, say Cartwright and Walsh, the customer reaction to the café and bakery shop has been extremely positive – so much so that during the peak weekday time of 12 noon until 1.30pm, long queues of workers from many nearby offices line up. “We want to encourage customers to send in their lunchtime orders in advance, so that they can just drop in and collect them, rather than queue,” adds Walsh.They’re now exploring the possibility of rolling out the café bakery – possibly as a franchise, explains Dublin-born Cartwright, who trained in Ireland and France and worked in London, including at the Savoy Hotel. Cartwright says the restaurant itself has loads of personality and would be hard to replicate, but that the café and shop style and format would be easier to reproduce.== Roly’s retail strategy ==Making the most of its location in the heart of bustling Ballsbridge, Roly’s Café & Bakery opens from 7.30am daily, Monday to Friday, and 9am on Saturdays, offering a full breakfast menu. A varied lunch menu, freshly prepared sandwiches and wraps, and a range of coffees and drinks to eat in or take away will keep the Roly’s Café busy until 4.30pm. At the front of the café, the bakery area stays open until 7pm every day, including Sundays, offering cakes, breads, soups and pre-prepared meals to take home.The interior of Roly’s Café & Bakery echoes the newly remodelled ground floor of Roly’s Bistro. Clean lines, marble floors and pale painted wood panelling create a calm and relaxing ambience. Roly’s Café & Bakery has its own entrance from the street, but the remainder of the interior of Roly’s Bistro is unchanged.The restaurant has seating for about 220 diners and, on a really busy day, it can serve up to 1,000 meals a day. The bakery itself is small, around 60sq m, but it turns out an impressive product list. Walsh explains that it specialises in gluten-free bread, including banana and walnut, and also bakes a lot of yeast breads. “We do a couple of different brown breads, as well as about a dozen different speciality loaves, including spinach and raisin, tomato and fennel and Mediterranean breads”. Small and large brown soda bread loaves retail at E2.35 and E2.75 (£1.80 and £2.20), alongside speciality breads including flutes, baguettes and ciabattas.The confectionery side covers many classics, such as tarts, vanilla mille feuilles, puff and sweet pastries, right through to Viennese lines and larger cakes. And it’s likely that the bakery shop will expand into wedding cakes. One of the surprises that has emerged is the consumer demand for small cakes right through the week. A fruit scone sells for E2.50 (£2), while a raspberry tart is priced at E5.25 (£4.15).This year, Roly’s will turn over about E8 million (£6.35m), employing around 110 people.Diversifying into bakery out-sales has been an innovative step for this prime Irish restaurant – a trend-setting development that has certainly added substantially to the restaurant’s turnover. Queues of customers are a healthy sign that this new venture will work well for the future.—-=== Restaurant-cum-bakeries: three of the best ===== Ottolenghi: London N1 2TZ ==Ottolenghi has been baking its own breads, cakes and Viennoiserie since the first restaurant was launched in 2002. Last year, it opened a site in Camden, London, to supply its four outlets with breads and pastries. “We have a kitchen on every site where we bake fresh every day – cakes, morning pastries, tarts, meringues and other patisserie lines,” says Yotam Ottolenghi.Specialities of the house include sourdough bread, white Italian rustic loaf, sour cherry and walnut stick and several types of focaccia. Best-sellers are lemon and mascarpone tartlet, hazelnut brownie, cornbread and giant raspberry meringues. “We prefer to make everything in-house so that we can maintain the highest of standards. We know precisely what we are selling and the processes are involved. This is what our customers have come to expect,” he says.== St John’s Bread and Wine: London E1 6LZ ==Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver run their bakery in Spitalfields supplying their restaurant on the same site, as well as their other restaurant in Smithfield. Trevor Gulliver explains that they started baking their own breads and pastries five years ago. They used to sell also in a local farmers’ market, but don’t have enough capacity for that now. “Baking our own means we can maintain the very best in hand-crafted breads and patisserie, using the best ingredients and flour,” says Gulliver. “The traditionally-milled flour we use is much better than industrial flour and our bread is definitely different.”== Lainston House Hotel: Winchester SO21 2LT ==This luxury country house hotel has had a baking operation for the past 10 years. All breads are made as ferment and dough or from a leaven. A well-stocked herb garden provides ingredients for some loaves, such as rosemary and sultana or tomato and walnut. Breads produced include ciabattas, while as many as 1,000 biscuits a week are made, in addition to Danish pastries, croissants and pains au chocolat. Two bakers are employed and the man in charge, Adrian Chant, says: “In-house baking is preferred, as the product quality is better and the size is exactly what we want. Customers want things that are different to the regular products they can get elsewhere”.The bakery also supplies some local shops and nearby farmers’ markets.last_img read more

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April 21, 2021

In Short

first_img== Contactless Pret ==Pret A Manger has become the latest company to adopt contactless payment systems. The high-street sandwich chain is to launch the integrated system following a successful seven-store trial in London. The system allows customers to pay for items totalling £10 or less by swiping their card across a contactless reader. It will be rolled out across Pret’s remaining 171 stores in a process set to be complete by April 2009.== Raisin competition ==California Raisins is inviting bakers to take part in its 2009 Innovation competition. It aims to find the most innovative new products that have been created using California Raisins, California Raisin paste or California Raisin juice concentrate. The winner will receive thousands of pounds worth of advertising for the product and free PR for the firm. For further details, email [email protected] or visit [http://www.californiaraisins.co.uk].== FSA’s colourful list ==The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to publish information on its website on brands and companies that have removed the food colours present in the FSA’s recently recommended voluntary ban on certain colourings. The colours in question are: sunset yellow FCF (E110), quinoline yellow (E104), carmoisine (E122), allura red (E129), tartrazine (E102), ponceau 4R (E124).== Identity change ==From 2009, frozen bread producer Eurobuns will adopt the identity of its new parent company, and will be known as Lantmännen Unibake UK. The firm will continue to work at its site in Milton Keynes, manufacturing products such as its Americana burger buns and hot dog rolls, and pre-sliced Express Baguette.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Real Bread Campaign is encouraging bakers across the country to bake a special loaf to celebrate Lammas.Taken from the Old English for loaf mass, Lammas, on 1 August, is an ancient harvest festival where bakers and millers came together to celebrate locally-produced bread.A number of bakeries have already announced activities to celebrate the day. For example, Denver Mill in Norfolk will collect wheat from a local organic farm in the morning, mill it and bake a Lammas loaf, which will blessed by the local vicar.Slow Bread in Whitstable will bake rosemary-seasoned Lammas loaves in the shape of the god of harvest, and The Hornbeam Centre in Walthamstow is offering families the chance to learn to bake or to bring their bread to share with others.“Not that we need an excuse to celebrate locally-produced Real Bread but Lammas is a perfect one,” commented Chris Young of The Real Bread Campaign. More information can be found at www.realbreadcampaign.org or contact Chris Young or Richard Watts at [email protected] or call 020 7837 1228.last_img read more

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April 21, 2021

Comment

first_imgConcerns about the environment are well down the list of consumers’ concerns about the future, according to research from AC Nielsen, presented at a recent Food and Drink Innovation Network summit.The economy, increasing utility bills and debt topped the list of consumer concerns for the next six months, with the environment at 11th in the list with just 8% of the poll. Health was also surprisingly low down the list, with just 10%.The research also found that the percentage of people worried about the environment has barely moved in the past two years. However, 76% of people did say it was important to them personally that grocery products were manufactured with raw materials that are not harmful to the environment. Over two-thirds of people also said it was important that companies implemented programmes to improve the environment, while 34% said that climate change had influenced the way they buy food.”Our research also found that 70% of consumers thought information on food and grocery packaging was insufficient for them to make a climate-aware decision on what to buy,” said Jonathan Banks, business insight director. “This indicates there is a need for more information on point-of-sale, on-pack or at least online.”last_img read more

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first_imgCosta Coffee has revealed its plans to open another 130 stores in the UK during 2010/2011, although its main focus will be on expanding its international business.The UK chain, which revealed an operating profit increase of almost 60% for the full year to 4 March, 2010, opened 312 net new shops over the year, 188 of which were in the UK, increasing its total network by 24%. The coffee chain also gained 88 Coffeeheaven stores in Central Europe with the acquisition of the Coffeeheaven, which was completed in the final quarter of 2009/2010.Its international focus will be in the key markets of China, India, Russia, the Middle East and Central Europe, according to parent company Whitbread.Sales at Costa increased by 23.4%, with like-for-like sales up 5.5%. The firm said one of the key drivers behind the growth was independent research that showed seven out of 10 coffee lovers preferred Costa’s cappuccino, which Costa subsequently used as a key message in its advertising.Its flat white coffee has also performed well, with over one million sales since its launch in January this year.The firm said its UK growth will come from new high street locations, additional stores in established retail outlets, such as its partnership with Tesco and through bringing the Costa experience to hospitals and universities.Costa currently has 1,600 outlets worldwide.last_img read more

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